AMESBURY, Mass. – A John McInnis Auctioneers will present its December Discovery Estates Auction on Sunday, Dec. 15, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Sumner Winebaum was in every respect a renaissance man, with impeccable style, a nonstop work ethic, and a keen eye for beauty in every form. Although he schooled and worked across the world, he always called Portsmouth, N.H., home. Over nine decades, he mastered the fields of advertising, growing a family business, fine art and philanthropy. His recent passing left a hole in the heart of Portsmouth and well beyond. John McInnis Auctioneers has been chosen to sell selections from Weinbaum’s finely curated estate, including a number of sculptures and paintings from his own hand.
A headliner in the Winebaum collection is unquestionably lot 93, a carved and painted wood trade sign of a “newsie.” This legacy hanging sculpture (above) was created by Portsmouth artist Steve McHenry in 1978. It depicts a turn of last century newspaper boy dressed in a white shirt, red vest, knee pants, long stockings and a flat cap. He carries a brown delivery bag in one hand, and a newspaper in the other. The carving is framed in a handsome, black wrought iron circle and suspended from a series of decorative hooks. The newsboy measures 56 inches tall and the overall sign is 72 inches tall. This sign was created for, and hung outside, the offices of Winebaum News in Portsmouth for over four decades and was commissioned by Sumner Winebaum, the then president of this news delivery institution. This sign – which in all rights could be considered a beloved Portsmouth ambassador – is conservatively estimated at $3,000-$6,000 and should be of great interest to New Hampshire area museums, historical societies and scholars.
The Winebaum estate also offers finely rendered bronzes designed and produced by Winebaum from the 1980s onward. Winebaum considered French artist Auguste Rodin his spiritual guide, and like Rodin, many of Winebaum’s carefully sculpted examples were partially or completely nude. Lot 126, his Cell Phone, depicts a woman sitting backward on a chair and talking on a handheld phone (below). It measures 15 inches tall, is dated 2000, and estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Lot 121, his Fixing Hair, spotlights a topless woman sitting on a stool. It measures 17 by 16 by 8 inches, is dated 2003, and estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Lot 124, his Reading with Cat, shows a woman enjoying a book and sitting cross-legged in a club chair with a cat playfully trying to distract her. It measures 12 by 7½ by 10 inches, is dated 1999 and estimated at $1,500-$2,500.
Lot 95, his Beach Boys, features a grandfather and grandson in matching beach hats. It measures 35 inches tall, is dated 1992, and carries a $2,500-$5,000 estimate.
“I am confident that their items will catch the eye and interests of collectors. As a frequent visitor to Portsmouth, I have many pleasant memories of viewing the Newsboy trade sign and am flattered to be handling this treasure on behalf of the Winebaum family. We look forward to seeing you at this upcoming auction on Saturday, December 15,” said John McInnis, owner of John McInnis Auctioneers.
John McInnis Auctioneers can be reached at 978-388-0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.